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Samsung Omnia 7 review

Does the best screen make this the best Windows Phone 7 handset?

Samsung omnia 7

The Samsung Omnia 7 is phone that uses its screen to mark itself out, especially when it has a bog-standard 5MP camera bolted on the back.


It has a sharp and angular design, and the 4-inch screen isn't too large to dominate your hand.

The 8GB of internal memory is ample-ish (the technical term) and the general layout of buttons and functions pretty simplistic and easy to use.

We liked

A year ago we wouldn't have believed we were saying it, but we love Windows Mobile. Well, what Windows Mobile has become: Windows Phone 7.


From the industrial and simple-to-use tiles to the brilliant way the screen responds to the finger, it's a top notch interface for the first time user from start to finish.

The Super AMOLED screen on the Samsung Omnia 7 also really fizzes with colour and is great to watch movies on – it may have a little trouble with artefacting with some videos, but overall it's great.

Bing Maps is a relatively good implementation of mapping software too, certainly enough for most people to get from A to B, and the contact linking is pretty good, too (although not at the levels other smartphones manage).

The media interface is like a gadget in itself (well, it did come from the Zune) and the gaming portal has a whole truckload of potential waiting to be tipped into the open canyon of expectation (or something. We may have got lost in that metaphor).

We disliked

We're not massive fans of the way Windows Phone 7 is so locked down at the moment, since it means there's no genius tinkering from the brilliant developers that can go on yet in the same way as on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S or BlackBerry range.


At launch, the Samsung Omnia 7 has very few applications to play with from the store – there's not even a YouTube or Twitter client to mess around with as yet.


The Internet Explorer is a bit slow for our tastes, especially because we thought it was going to be really, really fast, and the lack of Flash, Silverlight and HTML5 is ridiculous when you think about the heritage Microsoft has in those areas.

The back looks premium but feels a little flimsy too – we'd have hoped for a more weighty and expensive-feeling device to be honest.

Verdict

The Samsung Omnia 7 is a pretty decent phone indeed – it especially impresses when you pick it up for the first time.

The screen is pin-sharp, and the operating system just blows your socks off the first time you use it – this is Windows Mobile in opposite land.


The industrial look and feel of the phone might not be for everyone, but it still feels nice and fits in the hand well – whether it's different enough from the rest of the Windows Phone 7 clan, we don't know.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory6.97 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value0.65 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100, WCDMA 1900
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time8.60 Hour
Product ModelI8700 Omnia 7
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution800 x 480
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)138.5 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 7
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height122.4 mm
Width64.2 mm
Depth11 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time390 Hour
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameI8700 Omnia 7 Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-I8700YKAXEU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

A true breakthrough in mobility and Samsung first mobile powered by Windows Phone OS 7, Samsung OMNIA 7 combines cutting-edge hardware with quality multimedia experiences and user-friendly interface. From Xbox Live gaming to Zune music enjoyment, from advanced camera functions to comprehensive media sharing options, Samsung OMNIA 7 offers a slim, unique design with enhanced usability.

SUPER AMOLED Display

The brilliantly large 4.0" SUPER AMOLED display is the zenith of mobile viewing. Brighter, less reflective and slimmer than general AMOLED display, SUPER AMOLED provides you with unmatched luminescence, vivid eye-catching colours and super fast response.

Fun Entertainment

Always be in the game with the phone that lets you take Xbox LIVE mobile. Through the Music and Video hub, Zune transforms music and video on a phone to be a beautiful immersive experience.

Limited Warranty2 Year